Tuesday, 9 February 2016

What the Dickens? - Monogamy Twist

What the Dickens?

In my contemporary romantic mystery Monogamy Twist my character, Luke Salieri, might well have said that…but he didn’t. 

What he does think is that the situation he finds himself in is as though he’s been planted into one of Charles Dickens gothic inspired novels where a slightly dilapidated house is at the centre of the tale. Luke is told he’s the recipient of a once beautiful old mansion house in Yorkshire, but has no idea why he has been chosen as the sole beneficiary to the property which is not yet ruined, but is in need of a great deal of renovation. 

He also cannot fathom the weird conditions he must fulfil before he can finally claim the inheritance.
Wikimedia Commons - Charles Dickens 1852

I haven’t taken an exact situation from a particular Charles Dickens novel and used it as my whole plot but the image of the Dickensian dilapidated mansion—as Miss Havisham inhabited in Great Expectations—was a powerful one and inspired my writing.

In Monogamy Twist my contemporary lawyer, Luke’s friend John, is a nice guy but like Mr. Jaggers in Great Expectations—or indeed probably any other lawyer mentioned in Dickens’ stories—he must ensure that the letter of the law is obeyed. Minor twists might just be allowable though, because Luke is such a good guy, with his heart in right place with regard to intensions for Greywood Hall.

The conditions of properly inheriting Greywood Hall are worthy of the machinations of Dickens in his novels because they are quirkily intrusive in Luke’s life. Dickens set out to be a social commentator and became a worthy one. What he often highlighted in his novels was some sort of social injustice or an antiquated situation which required a change of law to be improved upon. Sometimes the letter of the law is an impenetrable thing, a pain in the butt, and just cannot be altered.

Luke Salieri has found this to his annoyance and needs someone to help him improve on his circumstances. Rhia Ashton, as a professional family history expert, is the perfect person since she is utterly competent at unearthing ancestral details and in sifting through a whole time capsule of fabulous historical artefacts in Greywood Hall.

Often in the writing of Charles Dickens we find that the romance in his stories is unrequited love for much of the story (sometimes all in the case of Miss Havisham), or that a great love is lost, or that an eventual happy ever after romantic ending is a hard won thing. Monogamy Twist is a romantic mystery so I’ll leave you to work out what kind of ending I’ve achieved in it!
Wikimedia Commons
Dickens was famous for the serialisation of his stories and his readers eagerly waited for the next instalment in the periodicals he wrote for. 

When I wrote my mystery Monogamy Twist, I aimed for my readers to experience that ‘What the Dickens is going to happen next?’ sensation from chapter to chapter. As in the dreaming Charles Dickens in the painting above I want my readers to do a bit of dreaming themselves. Personally, I rather love Luke and really enjoyed creating him- flaws and all. Rhia was also fun to write and like in some Dickens books there is a wonderful companion for Rhia in her lively Irish wolf hound Thor.  

Click on the above fabulous cover for Monogamy Twist and read the beginning...

Snatch a copy this week and give yourself a Valentines surprise or read it just because it’s a great price at c. £1.99 for a quirky ancestral based mystery!

Available from Kobo; ITunes; Smashwords; B & N Nook; Amazon.


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